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Thread: The US Military on the cheap. How would you do it?

  1. #21
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    Re: The US Military on the cheap. How would you do it?

    Quote Originally Posted by PirateMk1 View Post
    A thought I had if I was President and faced with a 3/4s reduction and no choice in the matter, would be to adjust the priority to a MAD type of posture. Whereas offensive capability in conventional sense is limited severely and minimal personal is utilized to the maximum extent possible, and the same time upgrading and maximizing my unconventional offensive capability. Basically almost all tactical war fighting elements would be reduced to a small very flexible special operations group for reprisal and very limited conventional warfare. All the heavy conventional war fighting equipment given to the National Guard or Reserves, or sold to allied nations or mothballed. The strategic nuclear war fighting elements would be upgraded and made highest priority. The nuclear triad would have maximum priority over all other possible units and nuclear testing renewed. The emphasis in the triad would be on ICBMs upgrading and expansion, then the Air Force strategic bombers outfitted with nuclear armed missiles with supersonic capability. Just enough capability to punch through most air defense relatively inexpensively. The navy's ballistic missile and cruise missile submarines would be upgraded an added to on as needed basis. The cruise missile subs would have amongst their missiles nuclear armed variants as the case would warrant at the time up to a full load. New boats would be added slowly on an as fully funded basis as needed, alternating SSGN and SSBN as they come. The idea is to maximize the military punch weight to dollar such that even at vastly reduced money the country is well defended in case of all out war.
    Changing power projection and posture is also a piece of our humanity.

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    Re: The US Military on the cheap. How would you do it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oozlefinch View Post
    Not hardly!

    Just look at the cost of a drone, and the number of man hours it requires to keep it flying. In fact, hour per hour a Drone is really not much cheaper than the rest of the aircraft we use.

    How expensive?

    Well, according to this report, a Predator costs around $3.234 per flight hour to operate.

    Are UAS More Cost Effective than Manned Flights? | Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International

    I wish I could find the breakdown I used a year or so back, but drones are actually one of the most expensive forms of airborne platforms putting weapons on target that there are. When you compare the cost and maintenance requirements and compare it to the amount of ordinance they can deliver, they are horribly inefficient.

    And to compare, a UH-60 Blackhawk costs around $5,687 per hour. But unlike a drone with a crew of 1, it has a crew of 4.

    And the Predator is also the cheapest of all of our combat drones to operate. The RQ-4 Global Hawk is close to $50k per hour to operate.

    Drones are not as cheap as most people seem to believe, not by a long shot. A modern military drone is almost as expensive as a fighter jet like an F-16, and requires as many if not more man hours to keep it running.
    All of what you write is very true, IF we stick to the current way we procure and operate them.

    You would think a drone would be the perfect thing to test in combat conditions at home by running them through live fire gauntlets, I have yet to hear of a program do that.

    Drones or bot should be cheap and disposable almost as disposable as a missile or other munitions. A drone should also be a set it and forget it machine such that it requires minimal personnel to use effectively. They should require very minimal maintenance and repairs should be exceedingly simple if they are bothered with at all. Drones should be manufactured, stored in boxes and used when needed until they are destroyed or recycled. Practice with drones should be in hostile live fire environments constantly exposing them to the extremes of combat to expose and learn and cope with and eventually remove weaknesses of the designs constantly testing limits and improving them.

    Our military does the exact opposite in their drone programs. A combat machine is by its very nature meant to be expendable if necessary. Yet we build boondoggles that put substantial resources into a few very expensive machines that are very good and cant afford to be lost. How do you use those effectively?
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    Re: The US Military on the cheap. How would you do it?

    Quote Originally Posted by ecofarm View Post
    Changing power projection and posture is also a piece of our humanity.
    Unfortunately such is life, we are constrained by resources and must try to do our best with what we have.
    Semper Fidelis, Semper Liber.
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  4. #24
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    Re: The US Military on the cheap. How would you do it?

    Quote Originally Posted by PirateMk1 View Post
    Unfortunately such is life, we are constrained by resources and must try to do our best with what we have.
    I'd rather give up humanity in mechanization than liberation (see user title).

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    Re: The US Military on the cheap. How would you do it?

    Quote Originally Posted by PirateMk1 View Post
    All of what you write is very true, IF we stick to the current way we procure and operate them.

    You would think a drone would be the perfect thing to test in combat conditions at home by running them through live fire gauntlets, I have yet to hear of a program do that.

    Drones or bot should be cheap and disposable almost as disposable as a missile or other munitions. A drone should also be a set it and forget it machine such that it requires minimal personnel to use effectively. They should require very minimal maintenance and repairs should be exceedingly simple if they are bothered with at all. Drones should be manufactured, stored in boxes and used when needed until they are destroyed or recycled. Practice with drones should be in hostile live fire environments constantly exposing them to the extremes of combat to expose and learn and cope with and eventually remove weaknesses of the designs constantly testing limits and improving them.

    Our military does the exact opposite in their drone programs. A combat machine is by its very nature meant to be expendable if necessary. Yet we build boondoggles that put substantial resources into a few very expensive machines that are very good and cant afford to be lost. How do you use those effectively?
    I served in the ADA battalion attached to the 82nd ABN division in the early 1970’s. We had a shop that built and flew RC airplanes for target acquisition. Every year the division put on a show for the brass/Congress. The two years I was there, it was called “Brass Key.”

    There was all the division had to offer displayed on one of the impact areas. Artillery, anti armor weapons, everything but troops. Just before the final display of fighters from Pope AFB dropping napalm and going to after-burners, we flew the RC plane across the front of the viewing area. There were half a dozen M-60 set up on stands where the gunners were firing from standing positions. My job was setting up the commo. One time, after the third pass without any damage, the controller screamed into the microphone and said “Crash the God-damned plane on the next pass!”
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    Re: The US Military on the cheap. How would you do it?

    Quote Originally Posted by vegas giants View Post
    Train to defend the homeland. That means our shores. No more wars in foreign lands unless they attack us.

    That should save a few trillion
    That is also known by another name, "Isolationism".

    And we all know how well that worked the last 2 times we tried it. Over 500,000 dead and another 1 million or so wounded.
    War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. - John Stuart Mill

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    Re: The US Military on the cheap. How would you do it?

    Quote Originally Posted by PIPEWRENCH View Post
    First I would make a distinction between combat soldiers and non combat soldiers and change the pay and benefit structure. If you are sitting behind a desk in complete safety I don't think you should get the same benefits as the person out their getting shot at. No 20 year full retirement for those in non combat roles. I would close most of our bases in other countries. We could still commit to being their ally and coming to their aid if attacked. But we don't need to be securing other countries borders when we can't secure our own. I would assist in coalitions but not take on the role of fighting other countries battles. Nation building needs to end and we can supply and train them to fight for their freedom but not do it for them. But the number 1 priority would be not let the rich and powerful use our military for their profit and exploitation of people and resources all over the world.
    Not just no, but hell no.

    Because now you get into the question of what is a combat and a non-combat person. Is a person who works in the engine room of a Destroyer "non-combat"? Even though they share the same risks as somebody in the CIC that pushes a button?

    What about the clerk that works in a forward staging base in Afghanistan? They come under mortar attacks, just like those sitting in a FOB somewhere.

    Sorry, this idea is complete garbage. Because without those doing logistics and support you have no combat troops.
    War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. - John Stuart Mill

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    Re: The US Military on the cheap. How would you do it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oozlefinch View Post
    That is also known by another name, "Isolationism".

    And we all know how well that worked the last 2 times we tried it. Over 500,000 dead and another 1 million or so wounded.
    I disagree with your assessment.

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    Re: The US Military on the cheap. How would you do it?

    Quote Originally Posted by PirateMk1 View Post
    A thought I had if I was President and faced with a 3/4s reduction and no choice in the matter, would be to adjust the priority to a MAD type of posture. Whereas offensive capability in conventional sense is limited severely and minimal personal is utilized to the maximum extent possible, and the same time upgrading and maximizing my unconventional offensive capability. Basically almost all tactical war fighting elements would be reduced to a small very flexible special operations group for reprisal and very limited conventional warfare. All the heavy conventional war fighting equipment given to the National Guard or Reserves, or sold to allied nations or mothballed. The strategic nuclear war fighting elements would be upgraded and made highest priority. The nuclear triad would have maximum priority over all other possible units and nuclear testing renewed. The emphasis in the triad would be on ICBMs upgrading and expansion, then the Air Force strategic bombers outfitted with nuclear armed missiles with supersonic capability. Just enough capability to punch through most air defense relatively inexpensively. The navy's ballistic missile and cruise missile submarines would be upgraded an added to on as needed basis. The cruise missile subs would have amongst their missiles nuclear armed variants as the case would warrant at the time up to a full load. New boats would be added slowly on an as fully funded basis as needed, alternating SSGN and SSBN as they come. The idea is to maximize the military punch weight to dollar such that even at vastly reduced money the country is well defended in case of all out war.
    Actually, our Nuclear Weapons are actually damned cheap to operate. That is because we really have not made any new ones in decades, the cost now is minimal because it is all simply maintaining what we already have.

    And then you have the fact that Special Operations of any kind are highly intensive in the back end. The normal figure used is that it takes 10 back end types for every 1 groundpounder in the front. Move to SF type operations and not only is each person much more of an investment when it comes to equipment and training, it is also closer to 100 to 1 when comparing support to individuals.

    I have friends in SF, and also in SF units. The number of people needed to keep a single unit operating is insane, pretty much a Battalion of support for a platoon. The simple fact is, the more specialized a combat unit becomes, the more expensive it is and the more material is required to support it. That is why we did not train all units to the level of Rangers or Raiders (let alone Airborne) in WWII.

    From entry into boot camp to being assigned to an Infantry unit, it only takes less than 6 months to make a fully trained Marine Infantryman.

    Green Berets, you are looking at 3 years to have one fully trained. That means that if that is going to be the mainstay of your military, they are going to spend the first 3/4 of their enlistment just training. Then only bee effective for a single year before they get out.

    Sorry, but most of these ideals are really really bad.
    War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. - John Stuart Mill

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    Re: The US Military on the cheap. How would you do it?

    Quote Originally Posted by vegas giants View Post
    Train to defend the homeland. That means our shores. No more wars in foreign lands unless they attack us.

    That should save a few trillion
    What are we going to "attack them" with? If we haven't been patrolling the seas don't you think anyone attacking us and knowing all our forces are centralized in mainline USA might attack those locations? Wouldn't they station their own carrier groups and submarines to nail our forces as the leave base?
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